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Kashmir mediation

Kashmir mediation

New Delhi: Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC), has backed India against international mediation on the Kashmir issue, with foreign minister Sergey Lavrov emphasising on a “direct bilateral dialogue” between New Delhi and Islamabad based on bilateral pacts.

Speaking to media on the side lines of the UN General Assembly in New York on Saturday, Lavrov referred to direct talks between India and Pakistan, unlike US President Donald Trump who has repeatedly sought, including twice last week, to mediate between the two countries.

Lavrov mentioned that India and Pakistan had concluded agreements in the past and those should be the foundation for bilateral dialogue. The message was conveyed also to Pak Prime Minister Imran Khan when Lavrov met him last week, ET has learnt.

Sources here described Lavrov’s comments as a reiteration of Russia’s consistent and strong support to India on the issue of Kashmir. The bilateral agreements mentioned by Lavrov include the 1972 Shimla agreement. Russia holds current monthly rotating presidency of the UNSC.

Earlier, when Narendra Modi met Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok on September 4, the Russian President strongly backed India’s moves over Jammu and Kashmir, as the Prime Minister emphasised on that occasion that both India and Russia were against outside influence in the internal matters of any nation.

Since the August 5 decision to abrogate Article 370, Russia has repeatedly called for bilateral dialogue between Delhi and Islamabad based on bilateral agreements which have no scope for third-party involvement. While Lavrov in August advised Pakistan to pursue the issue bilaterally with India, it backed India in the UN Security Council closed-door session, against the Chinese moves to internationalise Kashmir.

 

First appeared on economictimes.com

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